Saturday, January 26, 2008

All Misty-Eyed

It's hazy outside this morning, with mist filling up the crannies and the ends of streets, just the sort of weather that makes me want to go walking--slipping quietly along in silent shoes, ignoring the shivers inherent with January dawns. I only made it as far as the end of the driveway before the damp chill hit my bones. In a somewhat dignified manner, I picked up the paper, as if that had been my original goal anyway, and ran back into the house. There. Enough exercise until the sun comes out. I stepped back into the warm house, and the mist filled all the spaces where I had been as if in silent territorial conquest.

Usually, I see the fog as friendly, but this morning it reminded me of my husband's eyesight, or lack of it. This week he went to the ophthalmologist to address a rapidly deteriorating vision in his left eye. He was told that he had a cataract centered over his pupil in that eye, and another one in the right eye which was not over the pupil yet, but was headed in that direction. They are of the fastest growing variety and chances are that he will not be able to see much at all by the end of this year. In another lifetime, those words would have been laden with hopelessness. Today, there is a cure. In a simple ten minute surgery they can replace the lens with a man-made one and voila! You see again! Clearly now!

There are a few complications, however. Around ten years ago, my husband had LASIK, a laser procedure which reshapes the cornea. Before that surgery, his vision was 20-800, which is pretty bad. The surgery was like a miracle for him. With great joy, he shed the heavy glasses and gained some peripheral vision. Now the eye doctor needs to see those old records so he can adjust the new lens. (I don't really understand why he can't just measure what's there.) The problem lies with obtaining records, because the doctor who did his previous surgery has lived in several places since--one being the penitentiary. No amount of phone calls has brought us closer to the records, doubtlessly archived somewhere inside a filing cabinet in an ex-secretary's musty basement.

So we wait. His eyes are getting cloudy. How much mist will pour in before the sun breaks through?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thirteen Interesting Facts about Roads

(Both literal and figurative)

A road doesn’t take you anywhere. It leads.

All roads don’t lead to Rome.
Only the ones that lead to Rome do.
Some roads lead to Anchorage and others to Gotebo.
Don’t expect to take off on any old road and end up at Rome.

At a crossroad, you can’t take both ways. You have to decide.

If you don’t care where you are going,
it doesn’t really matter which road you take.

A detour is still part of the journey.
You might as well enjoy the sights along the way.

It’s hard to walk straight on a crooked path.

Crowded roads make for bigger pile-ups.

Where a road leads is more important than how well it is paved.

If you can’t tell if you are going uphill or down, look back.
See where you were yesterday.

If you make a wrong turn,
you may have to retrace your path
to the last place you knew you were right.

A companion makes the road seem shorter.

If you help clear the road as you travel,
others will find the way easier.

You may not be able to remove every rough place in the path
for those you love, but sometimes you can carry them.

Check for more Thursday Thirteen.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Keeping Up?

Alright, so I don’t always think ahead…actually I don’t always think. Period.

Today, one of the eighth-graders let it slip that we were having Frito chili pie for lunch. (He was trying to make sure the class realized they needed to get to lunch on time… not two or three minutes after the bell because the overbearing teacher would insist, as she always insisted, that they all be finished with work and silent before they were dismissed.) Now the thought of Frito chili pie was pleasant to me, but, for once, I decided to obey my better judgment and opt for a lower fat diet. After the little magpies left, I scrounged around in my corner cabinet and managed to find some pretzels left over from the last academic meet. That would do. I filled a paper cup with them, replenished my coffee cup, and settled down in front of my computer to do e-mail instead of lunch. It turns out that those pretzels were of the modern, intrepid variety—mustard covered; they tasted strangely of pickles. However, when one is absorbed in e-mails, she munches contentedly without taking note of it. She also drinks her cup of lukewarm almond-flavored coffee, not noticing the sloshing and the whooshing in her stomach. Suffice it to say, I remembered too late that mustard and warm water is an excellent emetic. (That’s what all the musty detective novels say, anyway, when the heroine is full of chagrin for having inadvertently gulped down nasty-tasting arsenic).

You will be proud of me. I kept my cool…and kept my lunch…stilled the roarings and rumblings of my stomach, and survived past the critical next two hours. Today, this blog ought to have been called: Keeping Down.